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Work Smarter and Grow Your Sales

How Small Business Owners Can Work Smarter and Grow Sales

Three tips for getting the most out of your time and sales efforts.

Small business owners are at a constant risk of getting burned out from the weight of their business.  If this is you, most likely it’s because you do not have a team, and therefore, completing tasks is your responsibility.  So how do you avoid getting burned out?  Here are three tips for working smarter while continuing to grow your sales. 

Tip #1: Determine Your Target Market

The best way to understand who your prospective clients should be and how to pitch your solution to them is to decide on your target market.  This can be as simple as knowing whether your business is geared towards other businesses or towards consumers.  It can also be more complex.  Maybe the majority of your customers have no more than 50 employees and their annual revenue is under $10-million.

But how do you discover the common characteristics of your paying customers?  What is the best way to collect that information about your sales leads?  Business profiles and credit reports can be a great tool for doing research before calling on prospects.  These reports give information like annual revenue, the number of employees and PC’s a prospect has, and the names of businesses around them.  More importantly, you then have the ability to “estimate” accordingly when talking about the prospect’s business and budget.  Going into a meeting with the ability to estimate what they have to spend can help cut through any objections that might come up. 

However, the availability of business profiles and credit reports has historically been a hurdle for small business owners.  The service often costs them hundreds of dollars.  Fortunately, data compiler Infofree.com recently made this service free for anyone who downloads their mobile app.  All you have to do is search for your best client to get a list of businesses just like them.

Another good thing to know?  Infofree.com is currently offering a free trial of their sales leads at www.infofree.com/free.

Tip #2: Prioritize Time Management

Organization – or a lack thereof – can easily sabotage how efficient and productive you are.  That lack of organization can also have a negative effect on how others perceive you and your business.  So get organized by keeping your appointments in one calendar.  It’s not necessarily about being able to plan ahead; it gives you the ability to be more prepared for meetings and prevent important tasks from falling between the cracks.

Make a to-do list.  It may seem self-explanatory, but so many people don’t follow the age old advice of writing down what needs to be done.  Not only will you get the satisfaction of physically crossing something off, it will also help you prioritize what needs to be done.  If you aren’t good about keeping track of your list, there are lots of apps available to help.  Many of them – such as Any.do and Wunderlist – are free and effective.

Tip #3: Focus on Customer Service

As a small business owner, it is easy to focus on all the potential customers out there.  But you have to take care of your existing customers too.  It’s easier to appease and grow your customer base than it is to convert prospects into new customers.  Your current customers are paying your bills, and they are getting daily calls from competitors.  Honestly, you are going to have to continually work to earn (and keep) your customers’ loyalty.

An effective customer retention program will give you the ability to identify customers who will be loyal and a good source of long-term income.  Web analytics and social media can help you do this.  However, you can also build your own program around a variation of the 80/20 rule.  Call your best customers (roughly 20% of your current clients) once a month.  You should call the next best 50% of your customers quarterly.  And every six months call the remaining 30% of your clients.  The act of making regular contact will let your customers know they are an important part of your business’s success.

As a small business owner, you can work smarter and grow your sales by figuring out the best prospective clients, effectively managing your time, and focusing on your existing clients.  This will help you make more sales, increase your revenue, and enable you to think about hiring a staff.






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